Written & Art By Doug TenNapel
For anyone who has loved a canine, nothing is more traumatic than dealing with your dog’s death. When Ely’s dog Tommy is accidentally hit by a car, his parents send him to his grandfather’s farm to help ease the pain, but it’s not hard work that raises Ely’s spirits. After being bullied and locked in a cave, Ely goes home only to hear Tommy barking. He searches for the source and discovers a T-Rex. Despite obvious problems of what the dinosaur is going to eat and rampant destruction, people embrace the dinosaur Ely names in honor his departed dog. He becomes a tourist attraction, but good goes to worst when bully Randy decides to ruins Tommy’s reputation.
Doug Tennapel has a penchant for mixing sadness with fantastic elements. He takes serious situations, but approaches them from a fantastic standpoint. The characters in Tommysaurus Rex approach the appearance of a dinosaur in a magic realist sense and easily incorporate him into their lives. While the T-Rex is what makes the book fun, because who hasn’t wanted a pet dinosaur, dealing with a bully, and coming to terms with grief is the book’s real charm.
The art is classic Tennapel somewhere between a cartoon and real life. Unlike his other work, Cardboard, Ghostopolis, it’s drawn more in a 1950s style and displays his range of talent.
Tommysaurus Rex is another quality work by Tennapel. It makes one wonder what serious subject he’ll broach in his next graphic novel and we can’t wait to read it.